Recently I was asked to provide a guest post for the Word of Mom section on the popular website, What to Expect. I was so excited for this opportunity and was ready to provide them with something really profound and brilliant. So I sat down at my computer and... nothing happened.
Writer's block. What was I going to share about pregnancy, labor, toddlerhood, etc? So many things with potential but nothing was "speaking" to me.
Until one amazing day on a weekend...
I was rocking baby P-Nut and nursing her to sleep. I looked down at her and my heart swelled at least 10 times its size and tears welled up in my eyes. It hit me... I love breastfeeding. Love it.
Who am I? How and when did this happen? I don't know for sure but I do know that my struggles and my commitment to sticking with it really paid off. She is not exclusively breastfed and we supplement with formula which is a-okay. She is given a bottle all week during the day at daycare and that is just dandy. But on the evenings and on the weekends, I get to hold her and nurse her to both of our hearts content.
I didn't get it at first, I wasn't in love with even the idea let alone the act of breastfeeding. It wasn't comfortable and it was painful, both physically and emotionally. But I broke through to the other side and now I get all "verklempt" and weepy when I even think about stopping. Pumping, on the other hand, I could stop tomorrow and be okay with it. But alas I have to keep it up if I want to have any shred of supply for P-Nut to nurse from. (le sigh)
So I thought I'd share with moms out there how this was not a natural progression for me. It was work. It is natural NOW but it sure wasn't at first. I hope that a new mom struggling with the idea and then the act of breastfeeding might relate and I can encourage her to stick with it. However, the most important thing is to do what is best for you and your baby and the answer to "what is best" looks and feels different for each of us. Remember, motherhood/parenthood is not one size fits all.
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Oh, and Mama? You're doing a great job! ;)